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Wine Definitions, Volume 1

This week, we present the first installment of our wine definitions. We will post one each week for the next seven weeks. You can use these cards to study up and build your wine knowledge. After you complete all of the definitions, you will know more about wine than 99% of people. You will basically be a wine expert. 

If you prefer, we also offer these definitions as a list. You will find a link to the non-flashcard version of this article on the right. 

Abboccato

Italy: a full-bodied wine with medium sweetness

Acescence

A sweet-and-sour wine

Acetic acid

An acid commonly found in vinegar. Also occurs in wine

Acidity

Causes sourness in wine. Makes your mouth water

Acrid

Strong and unpleasant smell

Adamado

Portugal: describes medium-sweet wines

Adega

Portugal: a winery or cellar

Aeration

Adding air to wine

Aftertaste

Also known as finish. How long the flavors linger in your mouth after you swallow

Age

How old the wine is

Ageworthy

A wine that will improve over time.

Aggressive

A wine with harsh flavors.

Aging

Storing wine to improve taste or add flavors

Alcohol

Ethanol is produced as after yeast eats sugar

Alcohol by volume

The percentage of ethanol in wine

Allier

A wine growing region the Rhone-Alpes area named for the river that runs through it

Alluvial

Soil composed of stones, gravel and sand produced from water runoff

Almacenista

Spain: A Sherry producer

Alsace

A wine region in northeastern France in the Rhine Valley

Alte Reben

Germany: Old vine

Amabile

Italy: a medium-sweet wine

Amarone

Italy: An full-bodied wine made in Valpolicella made from dried grapes, usually Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella

American Oak

Quercus Alba is a species of white oak used to make wine barrels

American Viticultural Area (AVA)

A designated wine growing region in the United States

Amontillado

A medium-bodied dry Sherry

Ampelography

The study of differences between grapevines

Amphora

A ceramic vessel used to store wine in ancient time

Amtliche Pr?fungsnummer

Germany: A designation that shows a wine has passed legal requirements

Anbaugebiete

Germany: The German name for a wine region

Ancestral Method

A secondary, in-bottle fermentation used to make sparkling wine

Angular

A wine with very few, but intense flavors

Annata

Italy: term for vintage

Anosmia

Losing your sense of smell

Anthocyanins

A pigment that shows as red, purple, blue or black. Occurs in grape skins

AOC Appellation d?Origine Controllee

France: A term once used as the French designation for an agricultural regions including wine regions

Aperitif

A beverage to be enjoyed before a meal

Appassimento

Italy: the process of drying grapes

Appearance

The way a wine looks such as clarity, color and intensity

Appellation d\\

France: A term used as the French designation for an agricultural regions including wine regions

Aroma

Smells

Aromatic

A distinctive, pleasant smell

Aspersion

Sprinkling water on grapevine buds to prevent freezing

Assemblage

France: blending wine

Astringent

Substances that make skin cells tighten. Produces a drying effect

Asz?

The collection of grapes used to make Tokaji wine

Attack

The intense initial taste of a wine

ATTTB

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a United States government agency that regulates wine

Ausbruch

Austria: A wine quality indicator between Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese

Auslese

Germany: a quality indicator meaning select harvest

Austere

Refers to wines without much fruit flavor

Autolysis

The breaking down of dead yeast cells that can result in bready or nutty flavors in wine

Awkward

A wine where one flavor characteristic dominates all the others

Azienda

Italy: Means estate

Azienda agricola

Italy: A winery that only produces estate wines

Azienda vinicola

Italy: A winery that produces estate wines and wines from other vineyards

(B.O.B.) Buyer\\

The same as house wine labelled with the same name as the business where you bought it

Bacchus

A German white wine grape known for pear flavors

Backbone

A wine with a good balance of tannin, alcohol, fruit flavors and sometimes sweetness

Backward

A wine with little flavor or aroma

Balance

See

Balthazar

A wine bottle that holds 12 liters

Ban de Vendange

France: The start of harvest

Barbaresco

Italy: Nebbiolo-based wine from Tuscany

Barnyard

Aromas or flavors that smell animal-like. They are usually consider a flaw

Barolo

Italy: A Nebbiolo-based wine from Piedmont

Barrel Aged

Holding wine in oak too develop more complexity and impart oak flavor

Barrel Fermented

Holding wine in oak while the yeast and sugar produce alcohol

Barrel or Barrique

A vessel, usually made of oak, in which wine is aged

Barrel Tasting

Tasting wine out of a vessel other than a bottle, while it\\

Batonnage

France: stirring the lees.

Baum?

A scale to measure the density of liquids

BDX

Abbreviation for Bordeaux

Bead

The streams of bubbles in sparkling wine

Beans

Wood chips added to wine to impart oak flavors

Beaujolais

A region of France where a light-bodied red wine is may from Gamay grapes

Beaujolais Nouveau

The first Beaujolais of the year, released on the third Thursday in November

Beefy

Refers to a full-bodied wine, usually a red

Beerenauslese

Germany: A white wine made from individually selected grapes consider of

Bentonite

A clay used to clarify wines

Bereich

Germany: A district within a wine region

Berry

An individual graps

Bianco, Blanc, Blanco, Branco

Italian, French,Spanish and Portuguese terms for a white wine or grape

Big

A full-bodied wine

Bin

The location in a wine cellar where wine is stored

Biodynamic

A kind of ecological farming that highly prizes closed nutrient cycles and animal welfare

Biodynamic wine

Wine produced using biodynamic practices.

Biologique

France: organic

Bite

A high acid wine

Bitter

Usually comes from drying tannin in wines

Black Grapes

Also known as red grapes

Blanc de Blancs

White wine made from white grapes

Blanc de Noirs

White wine made from red grapes

Blend

The set of grapes used to make a finished wine

Blind Tasting

Drinking wine without knowing it\\

Blunt

Usually refers to a high alcohol wine without much flavor

Blush

The same as ros?

Bodega

Spain: A winery

Body

The weight of wine in your mouth

Bold

Intensity of flavor or aroma

Bordeaux

A wine region in Southwest France known for it\\

Bota

A vessel than can store 159 to 172 gallons of Sherry

Botrytis Cinerea

A fungus that reduces water in grapes and causes more intense sweetness in grapes

Botte

Italy: A barrel that holds 220?660 gallons

Bottle Aging

A period of time spent in bottle prior to release and/or consumption; a small percentage of wines gain complexity and bouquet during extended bottle aging. The vast majority of wines produced are meant to be consumed shortly after release.

Bottle Shock

A condition where flavors are muted after wine is newly bottled or travels long distance

Bouquet

Flavors and aromas that develop with age

Brawny

A wine with bold or intense flavors

Breathe

Add air to wine

Brettanomyce

A yeast that creates flavors and aromas known as barnyard or gamey

Briary

Refers to flavors or wild berries

Bricking

When red wines develop a red or orange hue over time

Bright

Acidic

Brilliant

A wine with vibrant colos

Brix

The scale used to measure sugar in grapes

Broker

An intermediary between wineries and distributors

Brooding

A wine that offers more intense and/or deep flavors over frersh and light ones

Browning

See Bricking

Brut (Champagne)

A term used to describe dry sparkling wine

Brut Nature (Champagne)

The driest style of sparkling wine

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